Ten-acre parcel near Colts stadium hits the market

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A 10-acre parcel just a stone's throw from Lucas Oil Stadium is on the market with an asking price of $5 million.

The property is owned by Minneapolis-based Valspar Corp., which has held the land since its 2000 acquisition of Lilly Industries Inc. At the time Lilly Industries had annual revenue of $650 million and was one of the five-largest manufacturers of industrial coatings and chemical products in North America. The operations since have been closed, and the facilities demolished.

The vacant parcel--primarily a mix of striped parking and raw lots--is bounded by McCarty Street to the south, Merrill Street to the north, West Street to the east and Kentucky Avenue to the west.

Ross Reller, senior vice president and director of land services for Colliers International’s Indiana region, is listing the land for Valspar.

“They’ve deemed it residual to their operations,” Reller said of Valspar’s decision to sell it. “They no longer have manufacturing operations in Indianapolis, and they’ve also watched the development opportunities around Lucas Oil Stadium.”

For a piece of property this large to become available downtown is unusual. A much bigger plot to the west of the Valspar site, however, is in the very beginning stages of redevelopment.

Just across the White River is the former GM stamping plant site. The group charged with selling the 102-acre property, the Michigan-based Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response, or RACER Trust, announced Monday that local developer REI Investments would acquire the entire site.

REI plans to build a $40 million, 15,000-seat amphitheater on the site, another portion of which has been earmarked by the city of Indianapolis for a criminal justice center.

Reller thinks the concert venue could help make the property he’s marketing to the east more attractive to a potential developer. The asking price for the land reflects the value Valspar thinks it has for redevelopment and not for its current industrial zoning status, Reller said.

He’s particularly bullish on the property if Oliver Avenue, which spans the White River and intersects Kentucky Avenue, is improved to serve as a main entry for the GM site redevelopment.

“We did not put this on the market knowing that REI and RACER Trust were going to come to terms,” Reller said, “but we do believe the timing is good for something to be done to this property.”

Some sort of mixed-use development might make the most sense, said Reller, acknowledging that the site might not have enough pedestrian traffic to support a retail project.

Abbe Hohmann, president of Site Strategies Advisory LLC, went a step further, predicting the property might be a tough sell.

“I think it’s a little isolated to start thinking about other redevelopment uses beyond industrial,” she said. “[There are] no amenities, like a grocery store, and it doesn’t have access to the [Cultural] Trail.”

The trail, which loops the downtown core with spurs to Massachusetts Avenue and Fountain Square, is helping to drive more downtown development, especially in the Fletcher Place neighborhood southeast of downtown.

Putting Valspar’s 10-acre tract on the market might open up more possibilities in the southwest quadrant, which has been slower to develop than other downtown areas, Reller said.

With the GM property to the west and the football stadium to the east, Reller said, “we think that we have some nice bookends.”


  • Remediation?
    How dirty is the dirt there? Knowing what has been/was produced on that site for years, if the ground is dirty, which it most likely is, who's going to foot the bill for the remediation? Is the cost of doing so to a residential level too costly?
  • Fiber optic
    One of the features of the site not mentioned is that it is adjacent to the largest confluence of fiber optic cable in the state. Not sure yet if that represents value but I have a hunch it's a pretty big deal!
  • Nashville Gulch
    I love it. The site is going to require a developer with vision. I will go,to Nashville and see if this Gulch concept has merit. Preliminarily I like it.
  • Site
    I also think this would be best utilized for a soccer venue. Keystone construction has said they need a 10-12 acre site so with optional land surrounding this site it could work. The criminal justice center in it's current format is going to take up around 40 acres of the GM site so it couldn't fit on this land. It would have been nice if they could have come up with a more dynamic plan for the GM site but REI has done a number of high profile developments so we may not have seen everything they are planning yet. This Valspar site would be great for a soccer stadium as it is already surrounded by bars and hotels near LOS.
  • The Gulch
    Too classy for Indy...we would build with cement board and aluminum siding and the city would give the developers million to do so.
  • City needs to RETHINK
    Old GM Plant should be used for Riverside Amusement Park. A perfect location & could use White River frontage for restaurants, boats & docks. Hotels close by. White river Amphitheatre should be remodeled. No need to spend $40 million building a new outdoor music venue. Valspar land could be used for new Judicial system. I challenge our current government to come up with a more efficient court system utilizing technology - not bricks & mortar. This whole area could be served by rail from Airport & then up to Noblesville - eliminating traffic & parking for commuters. We have ONE chance to do it right! Slow down & plan for long term. I would think citizens might buy shares of this idea - start a company, raise money to build project by selling stock. It's America!
  • Soccer Stadium
    10 acres would be big enough for a soccer stadium. There wouldn't be a need for a parking garage as the LOS lots and out lots would be adequate.
  • Location of Land
    FYI, in case anybody takes a look at on overhead map: of the big chunk of vacant land in the area SW of LOS, the Valspar-owned land is only the land to the east of the curved line (old RR track). To the west are 3 parcels owned by different entities that add up to an additional 7.5 acres. The Valspar land is 10.4 acres, so there's a total of 17.9 acres that could theoretically be cobbled together.
  • Ditto
    I just went to the website Kenny suggested and, yes, yes, and more yes. Something similar to that is exactly what that area needs.
  • Exciting Opportunity
    This is a great opportunity for something different in Indy. I was visiting Nashville, TN a few weeks ago and went to a place called The Gulch, an eclectic mix of refurbished old and new architecture severla blocks from downtown. It is a mix use of retail on the main level with residential above, but with a twist. Hard to explain but noting like it in Indy. Check out the website: http://nashvillegulch.com/ Very cool place to live and/or have a nice meal/drink. Rents were about $1500 a month according to the waiter. Positioned along the river would be a boon.
  • If Affordable, Why Not?
    If this site were residential, I'd live there provided the cost weren't as outrageous as other downtown properties. How about something downtown office workers can afford (not just the lawyers, legislators, and executives)? We'd like to live close to work and entertainment opportunities downtown, but are priced out of the market. I pass this parcel every day and would be very interested in a river/downtown view that close to White River State Park. Maybe people living there would create a market for a grocery, etc.
  • Too small for soccer
    Ten acres is not enough to put a soccer stadium with stands and adequate parking. You might as well forget that idea.
    • 98% seems a bit much
      I wouldn't be so quick to say that LOS and the future concert venue would be empty 98% of the time. The NFL season is from Aug-Jan (if we make the playoffs). Yes, there are only 8 home games, however, let's not forget the city hosting NCAA and Big Ten tournaments. Also, if the concert venue is able to get a good amount of concerts between April and October, this area of land could be prime real estate (or at least good enough real estate to sustain something).
    • typo
      BECOMES an MLS team*
    • Soccer Stadium
      Maybe future site of Indy Eleven...only if it because an MLS team, so maybe not good timing...
      • Not yet
        But who would want to live there, surrounded by industrial operations, a couple suburban-style hotels, a Speedway gas station and facilities like LOS (and a future amphitheatre) that are empty 98% of the time, when there are much more desirable areas in which to live in the other three downtown quadrants?
      • That seems like it would be an awesome site for mixed use residential and retail. With views of the White River and the redeveloped GM Plant to the west, views of downtown and Lucas Oil to the north and east and just a stones throw from Lilly, this seems like a very desirable piece of land. Using this for industrial seems a crime. The City should and probably will improve the riverfront including bringing existing trails south on both sides of the river, this could be the beginging of a south downtown revitalization. Put a 5-6 story building(s) on this site with plenty of parking and I think you have a great anchor for the area.

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      1. It is nice and all that the developer grew up here and lives here, but do you think a company that builds and rehabs cottage-style homes has the chops to develop $150 Million of office, retail, and residential? I'm guessing they will quickly be over their skis and begging the city for even more help... This project should occur organically and be developed by those that can handle the size and scope of something like this as several other posters have mentioned.

      2. It amazes me how people with apparently zero knowledge of free markets or capitalism feel the need to read and post on a business journal website. Perhaps the Daily Worker would suit your interests better. It's definitely more sympathetic to your pro government theft views. It's too bad the Star is so awful as I'm sure you would find a much better home there.

      3. In other cities, expensive new construction projects are announced by real estate developers. In Carmel, they are announced by the local mayor. I am so, so glad I don't live in Carmel's taxbase--did you see that Carmel, a small Midwest suburb, has $500 million in debt?? That's unreal! The mayor thinks he's playing with Lego sets and Monopoly money here! Let these projects develop organically without government/taxpayer backing! Also, from a design standpoint, the whole town of Carmel looks comical. Grand, French-style buildings and promenades, sitting next to tire yards. Who do you guys think you are? Just my POV as a recent transplant to Indy.

      4. GeorgeP, you mention "necessities". Where in the announcement did it say anything about basic essentials like groceries? None of the plans and "vision" have basic essentials listed and nothing has been built. Traffic WILL be a nightmare. There is no east/west road capacity. GeorgeP, you also post on www.carmelchatter.com and your posts have repeatedly been proven wrong. You seem to have a fair amount of inside knowledge. Do you work on the third floor of Carmel City Hal?

      5. I don't know about the commuter buses...but it's a huge joke to see these IndyGo buses with just one or two passengers. Absolutely a disgusting waste of TAXPAYER money. Get some cojones and stop funding them. These (all of them) council members work for you. FIRE THEM!